THEME: SELECT YOUR FRIENDS CAREFULLY.
BY: Fr. Karabari Paul
HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 28 2022
Our Gospel Reading of today (Luke 9:57-62) presents an important issue that requires a deep reflection. A man walked up to Jesus and indicated interest in being a disciple but Jesus never accepted. However, He invited others who came up with various excuses. Sometimes, what comes may not be what you need, and what you need may not be available exactly when you need it. It is an element of life. Here, however, we are looking beyond the surface.
How many people would you say are your true friends? Usually we only have a few people in our inner circle. These are the people who we are close to, whom we trust individually, and we can tell things about us. We need to be wise when it comes to whom we allow into that circle. It really hurts when we discover that not everyone has our best interest at heart and some of the people we call friends are the architect of our problems. So we must learn to be discerning, and know on what level to interact with people. Some familiarity should end at the office level, market place, in the field, classroom, etc. It shouldn’t go beyond that.
Does it not shock you that someone wanted to follow Jesus but He refused? Not everyone can be your friend. It has nothing to do with hate. Do not hate anyone. Love everyone as much as you can but control your inner circle. Gossips automatically disqualify themselves. We need to be able to trust that we can speak to people in confidence so that we can express ourselves and get wise advice.
True friends really care about us, and don’t bring up our past mistakes to manipulate us. The Bible warns us: ‘One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother’ (Proverbs 18:24). If we have close friends like this, we need to appreciate what they do and thank God for them. I may not have money but I have assets in my friends. And I give thanks to God daily for the friends He has blessed me with; who consistently show up when I am in my low state.
It’s not about being the most popular, with the highest number of friends. Just a few friends might be more than a community of people for you. It’s about how deep that friendship is. It’s no good if we have lots of friends, but we can’t really trust any of them and can’t tell them about our lives and can’t come to your assistance when you need them. We need friends whom we can be completely vulnerable with. When we are going through tough times, it can be really helpful to have a close friend facing things alongside us. Someone who can assure us that we will get through stronger. And then when we have come out the other side of our troubles, we can be that friend to someone else. But how can we be a good and true friend to others? The Bible says we should clothe ourselves with ‘compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience’ (Colossians 3:12). And that is a great place to start. GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE. May God have mercy on us, heal our world, bless and protect us all through Christ Our Lord Amen. Good morning.